Microsociology of text: factors of functioning pragmasemantic behavior

Microsociology of text:
factors of functioning pragmasemantic behavior

Sergeev D.V.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Dean. School of Culture and Arts, Transbaikal State University, Chita, Russia dvsergeev@inbox.ru

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Sergeev D.V. Microsociology of text: factors of functioning pragmasemantic behavior. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 7. P. 92-100


Since the mid-1980th D. McKenzie was trying to describe bibliography as a historical science of the making and using of books and other texts. He also extended the notion “text” to all forms of texts (verbal, visual, oral and numeric data). These definitions were accepted by key authors (R. Chartier, G. Cavallo, R. Darnton and many others) who spread them among the researchers all over the world. I develop McKenzie’s assumption of influence of a form on meaning and apply a broadly known term “cultural text” to describe a research field as microsociology of cultural text. Elaborated principles are the foundation of an emergent theory of pragmasemantic behavior. Pragmasemantic behavior is a range of actions, strategies, psychological states and emotions used by a person to handle cultural texts. Thus a cultural text reflects peculiarities of social behavior, helps persons to memorize rules and regulations established within society as a labyrinthine system. It is important to reveal a social mechanism and principles of pragmasemantic behavior realized in conscious and unconscious manner. The paper sheds light on pragmasemantic behavior functioning through microsociological analysis of history of illustrated children’s book in the XIX century. Historically, illustration is a new type of cultural text and a way to synthesize a printed text and a picture. An illustrated children’s book was supposed to elaborate a range of pragmasemantic patterns, emotions and reactions determined by social factors: changes of the social attitude to children as separate beings in need of special literature, evolution of illustration as commercially driven profession, creation of formats for children’s book etc. Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” illustrated by John Tenniel is a perfect case-study to demonstrate genesis of pragmasemantic behavior. This writer/painter partnership is the first fact in history of efficient collaboration leading to emergence of new pragmasemantic patterns associated with illustrated children’s book.

microsociology of text; pragmasemantic behavior; cultural text; illustration; children’s literature
Content No 7, 2016